Domaine Lafoy, Syrah ‘Alliançe’ IGP Collines Rhodaniennes 2016
About the wine
100% Syrah from two south-facing parcels of 3-15 year old vines in granitic soil, namely Bardoux and Montjoux, totalling 1 hectare. Grapes are fully destemmed and fermentation lasts 12-14 days. The wine then undergoes 6 months ageing in oak barriques.
This wine is easy to drink thanks to these fine tannins and a great complexity of fresh fruity aromas.
About the producer
Three generations of the family have worked this vineyard in Ampuis at the heart of the Côte-Rôtie since the estate was founded in 1993 by Jocelyne and Yves Lafoy, who cobbled together vines from their respective in-laws to follow in Jocelyne’s father’s footsteps on the Côte Brune in Côte-Rôtie. Since 2012, the winemaking has been the chief responsibility of their son Gaëtan who was formally trained at a viticulture and oenology school in Mâcon, France and spent a few months at the Plumpton Agricultural College in Sussex in the United Kingdom. Following this, he trained with an internship under Jean-Michel Gérin in Côte-Rôtie. The vineyards are worked by hand (often on steep terraces) with little mechanisation, and the winemaking style is traditional producing ageworthy, structured and elegant wines.
Regions Vintage Report:“After an exceptional 2015 vintage it’s difficult to believe that 2016 could match up to let alone deliver wines of superior quality. It was quite different in the North with fresher, fragrant whites and more subtle and elegant reds. But for once the South is where sublime wines were produced with some of the most impressive wines I have ever tasted! And to make things better they are not overly rich or heavy, but rather exceptionally balanced. Volumes are reasonable, especially compared to 2017 where quantities are very often 50% down on average” Christian Honorez DirectorThe North Following the superlative 2015 vintage it would be easy to downgrade 2016 wines. Of course, they do not have the intensity and ripeness of last year’s wines but they make up for it with beautiful fruit and great balance. One does not always look for muscle and structure in the North and many beautiful wines are produced in balanced vintages like 2016. Do not get me wrong, 2016 isn’t a weak and lean vintage, far from it, but the best wines are those capturing the essence of the Syrah grown in that part of France; perfumed, elegant and savoury. Moreover, of course a slightly cooler year benefitted the whites that are incredibly perfumed, rich but not overly ripe. The South It was difficult not to notice the broad smiles and the joy after the 2016 vintage. Two magnificent vintages producing decent yields will certainly help the producer’s cash flow, especially after a few challenging vintages and the prospect of notably reduced volumes in 2017. The whites are rich, perfumed with enough freshness to carry the ripeness through. Many of them will evolve beautifully for several years, but of course, the ‘piece de resistance’ are the magnificent reds. Ripe, juicy, with just enough structure, elegant tannins and a good dose of freshness; I cannot remember having tasted so many great wines from a single vintage. The easiest ones are so appealing that I wanted to decant them into a bottle to drink the same day, despite knowing that they will last and improve for many years. Some wines are a touch more austere and will require 2 or 3 years cellaring, but for many of us the problem will be to resist the charm and appeal of these young wines. I will certainly buy as much as possible to enjoy over the next 10+ years.Christian Honorez, Director November 2017©adVINture 2020